UFC: Whittaker v Adesanya rematch likely to be on Fight Island

The UFC is set to continue holding all of their major fights in Abu Dhabi through 2021 as countries deal with new waves and clusters of coronavirus, robbing Australia of the potential Rob Whittaker vs Israel Adesanya middleweight title rematch.

UFC president Dana White confirmed to News Corp Australia that Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, nicknamed “Fight Island”, is the only viable option for planned events due to quarantine restrictions worldwide.

Whittaker fights American Jared Cannonier on October 25 (AEST) on Fight Island, and the winner will face undefeated Kiwi champion Adesanya early next year.

However, Adesanya-Whittaker 2 would not take place in Australia or New Zealand, White revealed.

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The possible Robert Whittaker v Israel Adesanya rematch won’t be held in Australia. Picture: AAP Image/Michael DodgeSource:AAP

“You guys have a two-week quarantine, there’s no way I can pull off an event with a two-week quarantine,” White said.

“One of our ring card girls, Red De La Cruz, she lives in Australia. She’s here inside the bubble, for five weeks being tested non-stop, she still has to go back to do a two-week quarantine when she goes back to Australia.

“We realistically can’t do any live events until this thing is done and life goes back to normal.

“In Las Vegas right now, they’re letting you bring in 10 per cent of the arena. Why would I do that? I might as well stay in the bubble and do my thing.

UFC ring girl Red De La Cruz will be forced to isolate for two weeks upon return to Sydney.Source:Instagram

“I think we’re going to be on Fight Island for a while, I don’t see this thing going away – in the United States right now they’re talking about shutting down Brooklyn – it’s crazy this is still going.

“I’m not even thinking about fans right now, I’m thinking about how I’m going to keep my international fights going next year, so we’ll probably be coming back to Fight Island.”

White said Adesanya’s flawless victory over Paulo Costa last weekend makes him one of the UFC’s biggest names, and backed the Kiwi fighter’s claims that he has a bigger global following than the All Blacks.

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“He is one million per cent correct because whatever you’re talking about, I’ve never even heard of, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” White said.

“The same thing happened with George St Pierre in Canada. I said George St Pierre is the biggest star to ever come out of Canada, and everybody went crazy.

“This sport is global, everybody knows who Israel Adesanya is. People from all over the world. The rugby team you just mentioned, I’ve never heard of, and I guarantee if you asked 100 per cent of Americans they would say the same thing.

“And people in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, other parts of South America, all throughout Europe, all know who Israel Adesanya is.”

Originally published asWhy Whittaker superfight won’t be held in Australia

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